You know, some things in life are just too stupid to comprehend, and not being prepared is one of those things. Why’s that you ask? Because we are not a nation of morons, and yet we so often act like a moron, especially when it comes to emergencies or disasters. Take the stormy weather we’ve had over the last three day’s for instance. It’s had rained for the last three days straight, ending sometime over the wee hours of this morning.

The result of all that rain and accompanying high winds only led to the inevitable, and should have been expected power outages and downing of trees across the roadways. So what happened? People panicked in the wake of last night’s final deluge and this morning’s lack of electricity. I lost no power, I usually don’t where I live, but many people had lost it. The result was pandemonium and a bunch of people screwing up my breakfast because they couldn’t fend for themselves. Which only demonstrated to me once again that it isn’t going to be the asteroid falling from the sky that gets us, but our own lack of good sense. Many areas of the part of Maine I’m received over five inches of rain, and I heard tales of there being over two feet of snow dropping from the sky above in the western and northern parts of the state.

So it should have come as no surprise that there would be locations without power this morning. It’s Maine, it’s February, and it’s stormy. What else should w expect? I normally eat at fast food joint in the morning because it’s across the street from where I work. Not exceptional food by any definition, but it’s convenient. Imagine my surprise when the doors were locked to the lobby. They were locked not because they had no power, but because they were serving drive through traffic only this morning. I don’t like eating in my car, by the way. Apparently, the power had been out, but came back about an hour before I showed up. There were so many people coming to get breakfast because they couldn’t, or wouldn’t fend for themselves at home that they were overwhelmed by the business.

So, I got back in my car and went to another fast food joint. They were serving eat in, but the place was packed. There were so many people there that a business that was normally pretty empty had standing room only. And all I kept hearing was complaints about how shocking it was, how bad it was, how nobody had power and on and on and on….

Makes me want to puke, really. My normal routine was mucked up because none of these people were prepared to deal with a minor inconvenience. They think it’s bad for a bitty storm like this one, wait until the infrastructure really starts to crumble in a few years. Once the Obamanation really gets settled in and the raping of the public treasuries begins in full force these events will become standard operating procedure for us all.

There are a few things we should have on hand for these occasions.

Lighting;

Lighting is a simple chore and can be accomplished with either flashlights, or flames. Get some flashlights, preferably the crank kind so you needn’t fumble for batteries. And you should also have some candles stored in a convenient location, with a box of matches for lighting them. And an oil lamp is a good idea as well. Keep a container of oil standing by, with some matches as well. These lamps can be purchased at most mass market department stores for just a few dollars, and a quart of fuel will last for a good long time if you are careful of your usage. Keep the wick trimmed and low enough so you don’t see any soot building on the chimney and you’ll be fine.

Cooking;

Cooking can also be easily done, simply by picking up a camp stove. There are some that burn liquid fuel by way of alcohol or unleaded gas(Coleman fuel) and come in single or multiple burner sizes. There are also some that utilize the one pound propane canisters as well. Keep the stove handy, not buried in the garage or basement, and a supply of fuel as well. You can cook a fine meal on one of these stoves, and no one will ever know the difference between a meal cooked on one of those stoves or a big kitchen range.

Heating;

Get one of those kerosene heaters and keep it full of fuel, and make sure you keep a few extra gallons handy as well. I like the top hat convection heaters, like the Kerosun or Omni brands. They are easy to light, easy to fuel and easy to maintain. Make sure you dry burn the filter after every few days of use to keep carbon and wax from building up and clogging the wick. In a pinch, you can also burn #2 heating oil in these things as well, though the manufacturers don’t recommend it. Diesel fuel is the same as #2, it just has more taxes added to it for the excise agents. Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking you need to be cold because no one sells kerosene. It’s out there and these other fuels are acceptable substitutes when it can’t be readily found.

Get some tree working tools as well, for when that big one falls across your driveway. Just make sure there are no downed power lines nearby that may want to leap up and bite you in the hind end. If there are, stay away and call the pros. But if not, there is no reason you need to be trapped in your yard because of a downed tree. Drive around it if you can. Cut it down to size with a chain saw and use it for firewood if you can. No fireplace or wood stove? Use it in a fire pit on those romantic summer nights when you want to laze around the back yard with the family.

Not being prepare in today’s world is just plain stupidity. We know these things are going to happen, and we have the wherewithal to be ready for when they do happen. What’s your excuse for not being prepared?

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